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Words (can) do it: A tribute to Denise Levertov


Hellenic American Union Theater

Greek poets translate and read Denise Levertov’s poems on an evening night dedicated to her life’s work. 

At the 10th annual event of American poetry organized as part of National Poetry Month, the Hellenic American Union and Words (can) do it present a tribute to Denise Levertov to mark the 100th anniversary of the poet’s birth.  

11 poets will translate in Greek and read poems from Levertov’s more than 50-year poetic career. 

Participating in the event will be: Orfeas Apergis, Mary Yossi, Giannis Doukas, Lenia Safiropoulou, Lefteris Zacharioudakis, Katerina Iliopoulou, Panayotis Ioannidis, Lena Kallergi, Dimitra Kotoula, Stergios Mitas and Christiana Migdali. Levertov’s original poems will be recited by Korina- Anna Gougouli. Also, recordings / audiotapes of her own works read by the poet herself will be heard. 

Each voice that comes to trouble you is your own: 
the hard, the hungry, lost or questioning 

What we desire travels with us. 
We must breathe time as fishes breathe water. 


Denise Levertov was born in England. In 1948, after the publication of her first book, which was praised for its exceptional lyricism, she settled in the US. She soon associated with important American poets, such as William Carlos Williams, who acknowledged her work’s value. With her political poems and activism against the Vietnam War she distanced herself from some of them but became known to a wider audience. Later in her life, she converted to Catholicism and her works focused again on existentialism and transcendentalism. She died in 1997; two years later her 19th and final book was published . She had also published a wide range of essays and translations, received numerous awards, worked as an editor to poetry magazines and taught at the University of Washington and Stanford University. 

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